The word ‘Akotileta, in Yoruba parlance means a prodigal who not only fritters his own inheritance, but also squanders common patrimony.
This wise Yoruba concept perfectly but sadly qualifies the public display of shame that was the opposition of some Kwara elected representatives in the National Assembly to the narrow re-confirmation of Prof. Oba Shuaibu Abdulraheem (OFR) as the Chairman of the juicy Federal Character Commission (FCC).
Like a swine that throws its own gold in the mud, Mr. Saraki, blinded by raw political power and a now decimated self-glorification, stood in resistance to Oba Abu’s chance to clinching the plum job of the FCC Chairmanship, which the former had evidently used to the benefit of the teeming Kwara populace.
To Mr. Bukola Saraki, it did not matter how many Kwara youths became gainfully employed through Oba in his first tenure. It did not even matter how many more would be engaged by Oba in this second coming; what mattered to him, which he bitterly but unsuccessfully pursued, was the transient political patronage. He saw in it, not a chance to redeem an already melting political career but as a war of political preservation, which he must, and did fight tooth and nail.
Had Mr. Saraki understood his own people and their traditions well enough, he would have know their popular saying that no matter how bad a child is, you do not sacrifice him to a lion. In other words, no matter how badly the hitherto cordial political relationship between Mr. Saraki and Oba Abu had deteriorated, it was not enough to throw the baby, in thousands of federal job placements, away with the bath water of momentary political patronage.
If Mr. Saraki was as wise as we had thought, he would have seen the handwriting on the wall from the word go. The pile of hateful messages, curses and public hanger that greeted the initial rumor of his opposition to Oba’s nomination would have been enough food for thought. By then, any reasonable mortal would have fashioned a decent ‘exit strategy’ out of the shame and perdition that has inevitably dotted Mr. Saraki’s unsuccessful plot against the popular will of his own people.
How do I want to be remembered? This is a question that should now continue to hunt Mr. Saraki’s soul till eternity. For, Mr. Bukola Saraki had all the opportunities, in spite of his character flaws, to go down in history, as one of the greatest leaders of his people that shoved ‘local politics for merit’ (in the noble words of Sen. Nenadi Usman). But because of greed and unbridled ambition, he was quite willing to throw out the baby with the bath water. He who the gods will destroy, they will first make mad. That cliché appears to brilliantly sum up the cul-de-sac that Mr. Saraki has sadly found himself now.
This is because by this token of a political misadventure, Mr. Saraki has advertently brought out the beast in his humanity. He has given out himself, albeit consciously, as a man who could sabotage every known good cause of his own people on the altar of politics. Saraki will today go down in Ilorin history as an ‘akotileta’, and no matter what his bootlickers see in him, a real and true Ilorin son and daughter would always place him in the darkest side of their history.
A Yoruba adage says “
The king whose time and period brought happiness to the people will have his name written in gold so also the king whose time and period brought sadness will always be remembered.
This is why the E-Team has deemed it fit to lift Mr. Bukola Saraki high on the pedestal of shame and dishonor which this column represents.
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